Relationships. God made us for relationship: with Him and with each other. In the practical realities of life, many translate that into being active in a local church. I absolutely encourage that, but what if you’re a military family who is constantly on the move. What if you arrive at a duty station knowing you will be leaving in twelve months, or what if you’ve been looking for six months and just can’t find a good-fitting church for your family?
Truthfully, even military families that plan to be at a duty station for three or four years can hold back from a local church. It’s easy to just show up on Sunday for service and then walk out the front doors without knowing anything about the people with whom you just spent an hour. The transiency inherent in military life can make it difficult to pour your heart into a small group of friends that you may soon lose to a PCS.
So what do you do if this is you? Or what if you are one of those rare military families that don’t move often, or a civilian that happens to live around a military installation?
First, don’t let easy habits limit your friendships. Yes, it’s comfortable to slide in and back out of church each Sunday. Or sleep in instead of rousing yourself for another worship service where you know few people. But that’s not God’s best for you. Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages us to live in relationship with each other: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Secondly, find a good small group. This could be a group within your church, a Bible study or a ministry that meets regularly. It could also be a group from your military installation like a Chapel-sponsored Bible study, or PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) or CWOC (Catholic Women of the Chapel). Any group that will challenge you to seek God first, love your husband, and serve your family is worth considering.
Finally, other military specific online groups exist are can be particularly helpful during those times when life is most transient and chaotic. Jocelyn Green and the Faith Deployed team offer great encouragement and resources to military families. Sara Horn and the Wives of Faith team offer not only support to military wives, but also local chapters set up by military spouses. And don’t forget about other organizations like Christian Military Wives Fellowship (Christian Military Fellowship), Cru Military (Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), and the Navigators who all have volunteers ready to love and support you wherever you are. Being on the move never means you face life alone.
What groups have you found particularly helpful?
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